PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

February 4, 2014

Wild Hog politics tearing Port Arthur

Anthony McDaniel
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — I have come to learn that for every action there is an equivalent, subsequent reaction.  Whether it be conscious, subconscious or unconscious, there really is no such thing as coincidence.  

As I was reading a post on social media, its content involved the restoration of The Palms at Pleasure Island golf course, originally destroyed by hurricane Ike in 2008, being delayed due to wild hogs tearing up the green.  Now for the thinkers reading this article, if you have given this whole situation any thought, I know you have had to consider the possibility that none of this is a coincidence.  

Personally I looked at the name of the island, Pleasure Island.  I asked myself, in a city of over 50,000 who is the pleasure on Pleasure Island for?  Let’s say hypothetically, there are 500 golfers who reside in Port Arthur, which I seriously doubt, 300 men, 100 women & 100 children.  What pleasure remains for the other 49,500?

Now keep in mind there is the Babe Zaharias golf course on Jimmy Johnson Blvd. Why is it necessary to have two golf courses in a city that has one high school, one movie theater, one bowling alley, no batting range, no go-cart track, no roller rink, no casino and no amusement park? All the forms of entertainment that we are missing have the potential to create jobs and attract tourists while simultaneously facilitating the community with incentives for students who do well in school, and make for a break from the monotony of the day to day for couples and families.

Let’s dig deeper, a spokesperson from the Port Arthur Renaissance Group explained the situation to 12 News, so as I consider the name of the group I have to wonder why we must travel to Houston, Plantersville, or Todd Mission to attend a Renaissance Festival.  The word itself means a rebirth or revitalization, so why not the rebirth of the amusement park that I hear my elders speak so fondly of as they reminisce of Port Arthur’s glory days?

 The destruction of the golf course was no freak act of nature.  Sadly many of our city leaders are hardheaded opportunists who jump at any opportunity at self-promotion.  The wild hogs are merely being used as another mysterious metaphor to awaken a community which lacks adequate, competent representation.  The wild hogs tearing up the green looking for food are indicative of Port Arthur’s current representation tearing up our school district and our city for what they are looking for.  They take advantage of an apathetic population who have historically been betrayed by their own.

I am routinely approached by Port Arthur residents who enjoy my writings and encourage me to continue or ask why I haven’t published lately.  I write, but I also listen and observe.  Now I have written articles relative to street repair, circulated petitions for the cause and listened to our city leaders and manager say “These things take time.”  At the Chamber of Commerce leadership breakfast held on Tuesday Sept. 24, the city manager shared his plan to repair infrastructure starting with much needed repair to pipes prior to street repairs.  The plan sounded like a viable one.  What we are not privileged to is the barriers that are created in city hall, after the public appearances that prevents the man from fulfilling his duties void of extreme duress.

 Since the partial repair of Thomas Boulevard and Lewis Drive, we have yet to see substantial repair of any sort to major areas of concern and now the council is preparing him an exit package. What makes them think they can choose someone better?  They choose him.  The majority on council prefer to ignore the wishes of their constituents with exception of the 1 percent that finance their campaign and provide other under the table advantages for a bought vote.  It is this 1 percent that opposes the music park on the island.  One blogger reported the residents who live on the island says the music park attracts too many undesirables, yet they do nothing to afford them the opportunity to become more desirable.  At the end of the day city representation needs a thorough detox from the wild hog glutting of our cities resources.  

Anthony McDaniel is a resident of Port Arthur. Contact him at ajmcdaniel1@live.com